In 2009, a research collaboration between Prof. Simmi Aggarwal (Panjab University, India) and Illinois College was established aimed at conserving rare epiphytic orchids in both South Florida and India. Beginning in the summer of 2014, Dr. Zettler and students from the Orchid Recovery Program at Illinois College are planning to visit Prof. Aggarwal’s research lab in India to conduct research with rare epiphytic orchids in that country. Students will likely visit and work at the newly opened Centre for Orchid Gene Conservation of Eastern Himalaya, located at Imphal (capital of Manipur). Students may also be expected to work with local stewards in reintroducing orchids into the natural habitat.
Photo by Simmi Aggarwal showing local stewards involved with monitoring seedlings of Dactylorhiza hatagirea.